Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
As an independent music critic, I’ll often get acts across my desk that attempt to explore ‘classic rock’ stylings to varying degrees of success. More often than not, the bands occupy a space that’s rather derivative, to a painful degree at times. In this transaction, self-identity can get lost, and potentially talented artists don’t reach their potential. Mike Bee and the Dead Soldiers, fortunately, avoids that pitfall and moves forward with his music elegantly and with an especially unique sound unto himself.
Mike Bee and the Dead Soldiers is a solo act, despite its name, and it draws influence from classic psychedelic, freakbeat, and acts the likes of David Bowie and Pink Floyd. There’s a whole lot at play in Mike Bee’s music, and that’s perhaps best exhibited by his newest single, ‘Jane’s Gone Into The Shadow.’ The punchy, powerful track embraces psychedelic rock influence, but it also has the brevity and tactfulness of a pop track.
The intriguing part about ‘Jane’s Gone Into The Shadow’ is the sonic amalgamation that Mike Bee has created, perhaps even unknowingly. The lead vocal stylization is evocative of David Bowie in the 1980s, the lead guitar riffs are reminiscent of harder 1970s and 80s hard rock, and the bass performance is remarkably funky. While Bee has culminated his influences into a single place, he’s done so in such a creative, beautiful manner as such to remain a creative entity of his own, not a copycat. The songwriting on ‘Jane’s Gone Into The Shadow’ is infectiously catchy, too; you’ll hear it once and not soon forget it.
‘Jane’s Gone Into The Shadow’ is also notable for its cohesiveness. For a one person act, the music sounds incredibly sophisticated – not a beat is missed. The production is excellent, superbly mixed and mastered, and Mike Bee and the Dead Soldiers does truly sound like a band, which is perhaps the highest compliment you can give a one-man-act.
‘Jane’s Gone Into The Shadow’ is a classic-infused track that doesn’t sound derivative of the artists and genres it pulls influences from, which immediately raises Mike Bee and the Dead Soldiers several notches above his counterparts. It’s a wonderfully executed single indicative of an artist worth keeping tabs on as he continues to release new music.